All in for Better Health

Clinical Trials and the Healthy Participant

Authored by: I'm In on July 13, 2015

It’s a common myth – a clinical trial is only for you if you are sick and have no other option. While some clinical trials are meant for those who have exhausted all treatments, others test ways to prevent recurrence or prevent the illness in the first place. The latter often requires healthy participants.

In late 2013, the American Cancer Society concluded recruitment for a huge study, specifically for individuals with no personal history of cancer. The Cancer Prevention Study-3 enrolled more than 300,000 healthy individuals. The goal of the study is to better understand ways to prevent cancer by tracking healthy participants long-term.

Healthy volunteers are so valuable in clinical trials that the National Institute of Health has a special program for these participants. Called the Clinical Research Volunteer Program, it offers hundreds of studies for healthy volunteers.

Clinical trials need a wide variety of participants. While this certainly means diverse patient populations are critical for clinical trials, it also means that there is an opportunity for a healthy participant to contribute.

To become part of a volunteer pool to be considered for participation in a future clinical trial, join the Clinical Trial Engagement Network. You can also view more of the most common clinical trial myths in the I’m In campaign toolkits.